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Old 10-05-2012, 03:35 AM   #1 
prosthetik
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Not sure if sick or super lazy? :(

Im really new to having Betta so please excuse my lack of knowledge.

I've had my first one [Flake] for almost a year now, without any problems. About 5 days ago I got my second one [Ollie] and put them both in one of those double tanks with the split down the middle.

I got Ollie because he looked healthy, and was extremely active at the shop, and when I got him home. He was then ok for about a day but in the last day or 2 all he does is float in the corner of the tank and blow bubbles, usually kinda on his side almost. & he will hardly eat anything. He still has a nice flared tail and everything.

Is there something I should be concerned about? Or is any of it normal behaviour? Also, my original one, Flake, wont stop darting around since I got Ollie, whereas he was just really lazy beforehand. Is that normal or a concern also?

[my stats below arent very good - like i said, new to this whole experience]

Housing
What size is your tank? N/A
What temperature is your tank? N/A
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? N/A
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Small amount once a day.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week or a fortnight sometimes.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 90% approx.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? pH level drops.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: N/A to all.
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? I guess I pretty much covered all this in the above story.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? I don't know. Is there a way for me to find out [considering I just purchased him] based on his appearance/size?
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:54 AM   #2 
Laki
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Flake is just excited he has something to fight for; his territory.
Ollie might have a swim bladder issue if he's laying on his side. Can he swim at all? And does he eat?
When I first divided my tank, my two fish were constantly patrolling the divider flaring and such. That lasted a week and a half or so. Now they recognize each other is there and sometimes flare, more often they're begging me for attention and compete for it.
If Ollie is making a nest the bubbles will stick together, if he is just blowing bubbles individually and laying on his side I would think it is cause for concern. Perhaps remove him from the tank, fast him for a day or two and mix 1tsp epsom salt in the water (mix it before adding Ollie to it!). If you can get your hands on some daphnia then you can feed that to him.

eta- flakes can cause problems with bettas if they intake too much air with them. I would switch to pellets!
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:08 AM   #3 
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Well here's a couple of pics of the situation [both from tonight];





He's been like that for about 2 days now. He ate a little bit last night, but that food in the pics is from earlier tonight and Im pretty sure he hasnt touched it. You can see the bubbles in there, but not as much as whats on the other side of the divider & yeah I have seen him swimming around a day or so ago just blowing individual bubbles.

So whats wrong? What is swim bladder? I sound really stupid cause I dont know about any of it. But I never had any problems with Flake.

Yeah, I've found it very hard to find pellets where I live. :( but thanks for that tip also!

Last edited by prosthetik; 10-05-2012 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:15 AM   #4 
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You don't sound stupid!! I've learned all I know from this site. Nobody knows everything! AND when you get involved in a hobby like this, there is room for error and lots and lots of room for improvement! So don't beat yourself up about it! Think of this as a step in the right direction, since you clearly were concerned enough to seek help :)

Firstly, what is the temperature of the water? You will need a thermometer for this. I know you're in Australia so I assume it's warm there but the water temperature needs to be about 78-82F for your bettas to perk up. They are tropical fish :)
Secondly, the first pic looks like floating food on the surface? I would hazard a guess and say the water might be contaminated by it decomposing if you're letting it sit. Bettas should be offered a couple pieces of food at a time (since I feed about 3-4 pellets each, I drop one in at a time and go back and forth on the divider so they each get one piece in turn) This ensures that all the food is eaten and none is left to waste in the water. Since I don't see a filter I can assure you that ammonia is building up. How often do you clean the tank? With 2 fish in that size tank you should be cleaning 50% twice a week.
Neither fish would mind more plants/caves to hide in. Since your divider is so clear they have NO way to get away and have privacy/space from the other. Live plants are beneficial to the water chemistry too :)
Fortunately, your fish don't seem (to me) to be suffering any illness. I would heat the water and give them more to do and then see if there is an improvement. :)
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:31 AM   #5 
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So do you think Ollie is fine? I've been looking for a larger split tank but Im going to have to buy off the internet I think. Theres only 2 places in my town and the tank I have is the biggest they have unless I buy two individual ones. I cant find a thermometer, but the water is cool when I place my finger in it.

He's moved to the front of the tank now I've just noticed, but still kinda floating on a lean. I was cleaning Flakes old tank once a week, I've only had this tank about 5 days so I havent cleaned it yet. Guessing I should tomorrow :)

Its all so confusing but Im really starting to enjoy having the two of them! I just didnt want to overcrowd their tanks but if you think I should get some plants to kinda block their view as well.

I just dont want to wake up in the morning & find him in even worse condition :(
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:48 AM   #6 
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Bettas are active tropical fish but they still need some plants. My VT loves ducking under my anubias and laying under it's low leaves and among its rhizome. I crowded out my tank with hygrophilia (broad leaf) and they both love flitting through those since the leaves are light and flexible. Plus, live plants enhance water quality. My VT likes to make bubble nests around the floating duckweed too.

IF you cannot keep live plants, silk plants are the next best thing.

It sounds like you might need an underwater heater. If you have to order one online get a thermometer to go with it. If you pick it up in store, all pet stores should carry thermometers. I got one of mine at the dollar store in the pet dept.

Bettas are addictive aren't they? They grab your heart pretty fast :)
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #7 
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Well I went out & got him a new tank yesterday. It's got a filter & a light & I got a thermometer but no heater yet, because it's heading into Summer here & it already gets really hot in my room as it is, but I've been watching the water temp & its been sitting on 78-80.

I got him pellet food as well but he's only eaten one so far. A couple of bugs have fallen into the water from the light & he seems to prefer eating them. Im guessing this is ok?

But he swims around now, loves to hide behind his anchor I got him. I still want to get plants but like you suggested, I might have to look into silk ones. There plastic ones here look cheap & I want it to look as natural as possible without having to buy real ones.

Here's a pic of him in his new home. Deffinitely looks a lot happier.


I plan to buy Flake the same tank next week when I get paid again. They're only about 2 gallon each but at the moment I don't have room for anything larger.

Last edited by prosthetik; 10-06-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:32 PM   #8 
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Wow that tank looks great!
I still don't see the bend in the spine so I'm thinking he either had very slight swim bladder issue (which make them floaty)or his tail was drooping making him bend a little. He looks good to me :)
78-80 is a great temperature. And live bugs are good for him :) Keep an eye to make sure he's not eating too many a day (don't want him overeating and I don't know how many bugs are there trying to get into the light) and you will want to supplement it with the betta food to make sure he's getting everything he needs.
The plastic plants can damage their tails, if you're thinking they're jagged on the edges and would hitch panty hose then remove them. Silk plants can be found at craft stores and dollar stores in the craft section. :)
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:16 PM   #9 
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Its actually the 4.5 gallon tank, not the 2 gallon I mentioned earlier, oops.

Yeah, I gave him a pellet earlier & he ate it so he's doing fine. Im really excited to get Flake into another tank like that next week, I just couldnt afford both at once :(

& theres only a small finger hole at the top so the bugs cant get in really unless I take the lid off, but he only had 2. I got the rest out with some little spoon the tank came with.

Theres a small blue light as well, I read somewhere about it being a 'moon light' - should it be on all night or not?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:21 PM   #10 
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The tank you had them both in should be fine for one of you remove the divider :) It would be perfect for Flake. :)

No don't leave the blue light on all the time. Bettas need their dark time too, they swim around in the dark (I know this from all the times coming out in the dark to get a drink lol ) It's almost creepy to see them flitting in the dark, they have good eyesight. But all fish need some black out time. I turn my light on at the morning, usually around 7-8am weekdays and 10am weekends and it goes off 11-11:30pm each night. The plants adjust to that as their photo period or whatever and they're growing fantastically now. I think the bettas appreciate the lights out, it's routine anyway.
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